TBP Spotlight – ServiceMax Acquires Zinc

ServiceMax Acquires Zinc

Deal Financials

Enterprise Value / Revenue: Undisclosed

Transaction Overview

  • On February 26, 2019, Salesforce-native field service management software provider ServiceMax announced its acquisition of Zinc, a mobile communication platform for the field service workforce.
  • Notably, both ServiceMax and Zinc have raised growth equity capital from GE Ventures and Emergence Capital.

A Force.com Billion Dollar Success Story – ServiceMax Background

  • Founded in 2007, ServiceMax (f.k.a. Maxplore) was the first field service management application built on the Salesforce platform and the winner of the first Force.com developer contest in 2008.
  • The company subsequently raised $204 million of equity capital in six rounds of equity financing from investors like Salesforce Ventures, GE Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Emergence Capital, Mayfield Fund, and PremjiInvest.
  • ServiceMax grew at a 6-year CAGR of 100% before being acquired by GE Digital for $915 million in 2016. For more details about the company’s billion dollar exit, read our 2017 report on M&A trends in the Salesforce ecosystem here.
  • In December 2018, GE announced the spin-off of its software business. Simultaneously, GE sold a majority stake in ServiceMax to PE firm Silver Lake, but maintained a 10% equity ownership and reseller arrangement.
  • Notably, ServiceMax was not Silver Lake’s first large carve-out of an underperforming asset. In 2009, Silver Lake led an investor consortium in acquiring a 70% stake in Skype from eBay, at an enterprise value of $2.9 billion. Less than 2 years later, Microsoft acquired Skype for $9.2 billion.

Partnerships as Precursor to M&A in the Salesforce Ecosystem

  • From our observation, the best acquisitions happen over time, after portions of the integration risk have been mitigated and market acceptance has been validated. Establishing partnerships is a common method of meeting these conditions.
  • ServiceMax’s acquisition of Zinc is an example of this concept. The two companies established a relationship in 2016, when former ServiceMax CMO Stacey Epstein became CEO of Zinc. Two years later, the companies announced a jointly developed solution that integrated their respective platforms.
  • Within the Salesforce ecosystem, other examples of partnerships leading to M&A include Docusign’s acquisition of SpringCM and Dialpad’s acquisition of TalkIQ.
  • The Salesforce platform provides a particularly convenient vehicle for providing acquirers with comfort around integration risk and market validation, given Salesforce’s widely adopted platform and expansive customer base. However, there are no software companies that have used Salesforce-centric roll-up strategies. The closest example is Bullhorn, which acquired two Force.com-native recruiting software companies in March 2018. Meanwhile, several services companies in the space are using this strategy, including Simplus.

ServiceMax Transaction History


About True Blue Partners, LLC
True Blue Partners is a boutique M&A advisory firm that serves lower mid-market enterprise software, service and solutions companies. It brings the rigorous strategic and financial perspective of bulge bracket firms with a company building approach and a steadfast partnership that only an independent boutique firm can deliver. For more information please visit www.truebluepartners.com or email us at info@truebluepartners.com.

TBP was NOT an advisor to this transaction.